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Who’s to Blame for the Rising Costs of Ammunition?

The price of ammunition is at an all-time high and continues to rise, but what are the catalysts for the rise? There are several “reasons” for the rise—some tangible, some not.

Love him or hate him, the answer may be partially due to President Barack Obama.

What’s that, you ask? How can one man have influence on the price of ammunition so much? The fear that comes along with a reelection and a second four years of an eight year term is the biggest part of it.  President Barack Obama is a very well connected man, specifically with hardcore gun grabbers and those who threaten to do whatever they can to limit ammunition and firearms supply to effectively implement total gun control. If one can limit the supply, the rest will take care of itself.  The choked supply lines will become even more difficult to tap into if supply is low because fear perpetuates panic buying, and panic buying perpetuates lower supply and higher costs.  We all realize that a second-term president doesn’t have much to lose, especially in the last two years of the eight; they will begin to make presidential pardons, enact the laws THEY want put in place, and veto those which they know will not be good for the future of their party system or their specific ideals.

Tough Times Make Desperate People Even More Desperate…

The argument is this: if President Obama is reelected, there is a good chance that guys like Raum Emmanuelle and the Brady people will factor heavily in his decision-making process before he exits the White House.  There is a reason that groups like the NRA and others are saying this election is the most pivotal in history from a gun rights perspective.  In all reality, it’s not because Obama necessarily has a history of gun control policy, but that he hasn’t touched the subject until just recently, promising an end to guns transferred to Mexico, support for the U.N. small arms arrangement, and to work with Chicago’s efforts to control the gun supply in urban centers.

He has influential anti-gun New York, D.C., California, and Chicago lawmakers in his ear feeding him rhetoric to help defray the attention from other mishaps or concerns in his administration and to help bring the focus onto other media events.  He won’t touch the gun control issue in this election, as he knows he couldn’t possibly win with all the moderate constitutional conservatives waiting in the wings to determine their vote if he did.  The NRA and other gun-rights organizations have spent more this election than just about any other period of time (aside from the 1989 and 1994 gun bills) in an attempt to gather support for continued gun rights by the people of the United States. Once reelected (IF REELECTED), President Obama is then free to work on his personal (read: Harry Reid’s, Raum Emmanualle’s and Barbara Boxer’s) agenda of gun control. Comments made early on in the Trayvon Martin aftermath and the recent summit in South America lead constitutional conservatives and gun rights advocates to worry a lot about what will actually happen.

It’s not only about President Barack Obama though; the makers themselves see a hard road ahead for the sale of guns and ammunition and have set prices higher than ever before as a result of several factors:

  • Material costs have risen
  • Manufacturing for most of the ammunition in the U.S. occurs stateside
  • Labor costs have gone up
  • As technology improves, the need for investment increases
  • Federal and state regulations have cut down the opportunity for cost savings
  • Fuel prices are ridiculously high, so they impact final costs
  • We are just now wrapping up a decade of war, where resources were dedicated to military
  • Demand outweighs supply

Material costs have risen

This is a no-brainer; the price of copper is up heavily, so the price of brass is up in lock step.  Lead is more heavily regulated, and a real alternative is hard to find from a cost perspective. Powder is more expensive, as it must be manufactured with shipped products in many cases, and with fuel prices at nearly all-time highs, the price increase can easily be understood.

Manufacturing is here in the U.S., and labor costs have risen

The unions and other entities, not to mention heavy inflation and cost of living increases, have put base labor production cost at around 8 percent or more each year, without collective bargaining agreements or other cost increases.  It’s expensive to produce ammunition here in the United States, and Canada and Mexico are really the only reasonable treaty nations/neutral nations to produce heavy amounts of munitions, but their regulatory agencies oppose manufacturer’s plans to expand for several reasons.  In Mexico, they have a bloody war occurring in the cartels, and as a result, there are major security concerns. Despite having excellent wage structures in place that would lower costs significantly, the Mexican government is opposed to Americans adding more opportunity for violence or security risk.  In Canada, the land is cheap enough and the infrastructure exists, but the regulatory approval for hazardous materials and firearms industry companies is very tight and requires significant investment to even explore the opportunity. Many other nations don’t make a lot of sense for outsourcing or new factory builds.  Brazil and South Korea have been considered by a few ammunition makers, but they seem to be pipe dreams at this stage in the game, especially given the rising Brazilian economy and the threat to South Korea from North Korea. It is a situation of wanting to have your cake and eat it too: while we want jobs to remain in the United States, it does cause prices to stay higher.

Additionally, American fuel prices are at highs for the last twenty-five years and look to be rising, which contributes heavily to the cost increases, not to mention the supply and demand model. Simply put, people WANT to stockpile, and the manufacturers cannot keep up with the demand.

This is just scratching the surface, there is a lot more discussion here to be had, but this primer certainly lends you to think of what could be happening if we allow too much control too be given to manufacturers, raw material suppliers, or politicians.

After all, this is a real event— just go check your local gun shop or try to order online for a good price. Ammunition is drying up and increasing in price.

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